The phenomenon of Sati, on account of its dramatic and tragic element, has always commanded considerable attention. This has not always been complemented by adequate analysis. Even when the treatment of the subject has transcended sensationalism, it has not always been sufficiently nuanced. This book hopes to remedy this situation by bringing to bear on the topic (whose relevance the recent recurrences of the phenomena have highlighted) a measure of methodological sophistication which was not possible prior to the emergence of the History of Religions as a discipline.
ARVIND SHARMA teaches at the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University, Montreal, Canada. He has also taught in Australia (Brisbane, Sydney) and the United States (Philadelphia).AJIT RAY is associated with the Australian National University in Camberra, Australia. ALAKA HEJIB taught Indian languages and religions for several years at McGill University and now lives in India. KATHERINE K. YOUNG is Associate Professor at McGill University and the general editor of McGill Studies in the History of Religions.
On the whole, the book is a welcome addition to surveys in social history
of India. The essayists have succeeded in provoking future scholars to
probe further the causes of the burning of widows and evaluate the
suggestions of P.V. Kane and Marshman. The publisher deserves thanks for
the nice get-up, reasonable price and almost error-free printing. -- INDIAN
The book is especially strong when it critically appraises reactions,
reforms, and attitudes towards Sati by British and Indian writers and
reformers. An excellent place to learn what Hindu texts say about sati.
The authors and the editors have done an excellent job in examining the
diverse aspects of sati. The major contribution of this work is that it is
holistic in its treatment of the subject. RELIGIOUS STUDY REVIEW
This book is certain to appeal to those interested in religion and
psychopathology, women and religion, and the East-West encounter in India.
Its approach is both varied and phenomenological. THE HINDU
Although this collection of essays remains very much on the surface of its
subject, it is clearly written and elegantly presented and it brings to our
attention a number of interesting and important points.
ASIAN FOLKLORE STUDIES
The book neither condemns nor supports the practice of Sati unequivocally.
The fact, however, remains: Sati is illegal and totally banned.
JOURNAL OF THE ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY